ImpactLife has joined a first-in-the-nation partnership of community blood centers to help prepare the ImpactLife service region for emergencies that may lead to high demand for blood transfusions. The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps, or BERC, will also enable blood donors in our region to better support emergency needs that arise across the United States.
BERC is composed of blood centers from across the nation that have committed to reserving extra units of blood on a rotating, “on call” schedule. The additional blood products will be held in reserve for any critical-need scenario, such as a mass casualty or natural disaster event.
“In the COVID-19 pandemic, blood centers have seen greater uncertainty and scarcity in the blood supply,” said Mike Rasso, Director, Sales and Inventory with ImpactLife. “While we have worked to avoid blood shortages in our region, we know the demand for blood can spike at any time. Joining BERC gives us confidence that sources are readily available for specific situations as defined by the BERC program.”
Before BERC, blood centers facing a mass need event have relied on other blood centers to send additional units from their available inventory – but only if excess was available to share. This meant in an emergency blood providers could only rely on the goodwill of fellow blood centers and the hope that blood inventories would be sufficient to meet emerging needs. With BERC, partner blood centers will know exactly how much emergency blood is available and where it will come from. Participating centers will rotate inventory coverage on a 3-week cycle, with multiple providers “on call” to provide emergency units when needed.
How to Help: ImpactLife seeks “Partners for Life”
“Having a consistently strong and stable calendar of blood donations and blood drives is the best way to ensure ImpactLife can meet the BERC on-call schedule requirements,” said Amanda Hess, Vice President, Donor Relations and Marketing. “Joining BERC is a proactive step to help us plan for emergency needs. But as our region’s primary blood supplier, we retain our commitment to the ongoing needs of local hospitals first,” said Hess. “We are seeking additional community partners who will increase their support in light of needs that may emerge within the BERC network.” To schedule a donation or to learn about other ways to partner with ImpactLife, please call (800) 747-5401 or see www.bloodcenter.org/partner.
About Blood Emergency Readiness Corps
The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) was founded in 2021 to help blood providers meet immediate transfusion needs when faced with a large-scale emergency. Through BERC, participating blood centers from across the United States have joined forces to prepare for mass transfusion disasters, ensuring their ability to meet emerging needs without delay or uncertainty.
ImpactLife is a not-for-profit community organization providing blood services to 126 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, as well as resource sharing partners across the country. Services extend from southcentral Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri and from Danville, Illinois to Chariton, Iowa. ImpactLife operates 20 Donor Centers and holds approximately 5000 mobile blood drives annually to provide blood components needed for patient transfusions at hospitals throughout our region.
ImpactLife announced its new name in May 2021. For more information on the name change, see www.bloodcenter.org/impactlife. For more information, see www.bloodcenter.org and find us @impactlifeblood on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.